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99% Invisible: When Patent Violators Strike Back

Vulcanite dentures, 1880

Before the 1850s, dentures were made out of very hard, very painful and very expensive material, like gold or ivory. They were a luxury item. The invention of Vulcanite hard rubber changed everything. Everyone began making dentures with Vulcanite bases. But in 1864, a long disputed patent application was acquired by the Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Company, an outfit created to collect fees, or very often, sue dentists who already used vulcanite.  And there were plenty of dentists to go after. 

99% Invisible.  Friday at 7:35am & 4:45pm, Saturday at 8:35am.

Matt Martin was KALW’s general manager from 2006 through 2018. Under his leadership, KALW grew into one of the most productive and innovative stations in public radio. Programs launched at KALW during Matt’s tenure as GM include the award-winning local newsmagazine Crosscurrents, the design podcast 99% Invisible, and the Spanish-language narrative journalism program Radio Ambulante. He helped create the station’s Audio Academy, a year-long program aimed at developing new talents in public radio, and led the first broad-based strategic planning process in the station’s history.